This week during group work we have been exploring the weather. What it is, it’s colours, shapes and sounds, how it looks and feels and its effects on us and our environment. We have offered information and shared knowledge but the most remarkable results are when you add imagination to the learning.
Can we make weather happen?
Does your linear fact-based learning tell you to respond with, we can’t make weather happen, it happens and we accept it? Ask our children and they can respond with the knowledge they have learnt and with a little nudge in the imaginative process you have a whole host of possibilities!
Isabelle wanted the sunshine. Molly said, “We need to move the clouds.” sharing her knowledge that behind the clouds the sun is shining. Mia suggested, “We can blow the clouds away.” Showing an understanding that clouds move with the wind. Together we blew the clouds. Amazed as they moved many children exclaimed, “They’re moving, they’re moving, look!” Phoebe said, "We could sweep the clouds away." Moving her stick across the sky. What if the cloud gets stuck on the end? We could roll it on the end of our sticks like candy floss! Would it taste like candy floss? Marcus commented, "No, like water!" Showing an understanding that a cloud is made of water droplets.
Some of us wanted rain. If we squeezed the clouds the rain will come out. We tried to catch the clouds holding a bucket up and scooping it in the air above our heads. Did we catch any? We looked inside. No clouds. What should we try next? Marcus suggested, “We need to be higher. Let’s go to the top of the muddy hill!” showing a knowledge that the clouds are high up in the sky. Again we reached up with the bucket and looked inside. Oh, bother, nothing. What can we try next?
Let’s pop the clouds! What can we use to pop them? Loki looked around the paddock and solved the problem finding a long willow stick. “We can use this!” reaching up and jabbing it into the sky. We all joined in running around to see who would be the first to pop the clouds. Did it work? No. Loki shouted, “We need to get closer.” And he climbed to the top of the muddy hill and again jabbed the stick into the sky. Sabrina suggested that we send a rocket up to reach the clouds. Sullivan suggested that we should tickle the clouds? Nothing, should we give up? Would you?
Our children’s imagination set them free, to step beyond what they know, to take risks with their suggestions, to lead the way with ideas, to state opinions and share their knowledge. A rain dance, we can try a rain dance! Together we danced and called to the sky to rain. Fleur reached up with her hands calling for rain and sharing her ballet steps. Sabrina looked on with a curious gaze. Were our actions changing the weather? Smiling with fascination she giggled, “It’s raining.” Remarkably it was and the first spots of rain fell out of the sky! WE DID IT!
Imagination should not just be seen as a creative outlet. Imaginary and role-play not only enables children to explore social boundaries, morals and develop speech and the skills of empathy. Our imagination changes, it grows as knowledge grows. Knowledge feeds the imagination which spurs us on to new knowledge. Ultimately this is the cycle of discovery and of learning. Imagining takes us beyond what we know, into the future or into another world. We see alternatives and possibilities; we work out what we need to achieve our goals.
"Logic will get you from A to Z. Imagination will get you everywhere." Albert Einstein
Without imagination we would never have walked on the moon!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." Albert Einstein
If you are interested in finding out more about the importance of the imagination in the education process search for articles from Sir Kenneth Robinson, a British author, speaker and international adviser on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies.
Thanks for reading!